Competition: Luxuriate with L’Occitane

I have approximately $200 worth of L’Occitane products to give away, so I thought it was time for another competition.

This competition is in thanks to Melb Girl (who I also blog for) and a Christmas event that L’Occitane held last year. I attended to write a post for Melb Girl, and you can read more about the party and the label here.

L’Occitane is a brand who uses natural and organic ingredients in their products from the Mediterranean and Provence. I have a box full of lavender smelling goodies to give away to residents in Victoria, Australia. (I’m sorry to people in other states, but the box is a tad heavy and would cost a fortune in postage – you’re welcome to enter if you’re willing to pay the postage, though.)


L'Occitane box of goodies


Cleansing hand wash


Perfumed sachet


Foaming bath


Savon Bon Mere Marseille


Hand cream


Body Lotion


I also have a runner up prize of two hand creams.


Dry skin hand cream and marvellous flowers hand cream


If you would like to enter, all you have to do is leave a comment below telling me why you would like to win a lavender pamper pack.

Good luck!




Competition terms and conditions:

1. Entrants must leave a comment on this post telling me why they would like to win a gift pack from L’Occitane.

2. This competition is open to residents in Victoria, Australia. Residents from other states are welcome to enter if they are willing to cover postage costs.

3. Entries close at 12 midnight on Friday 11 January 2013.

4. The winners will be randomly selected.

5. The winners will be announced on Saturday 12 January 2013, and the items will be posted within two working days.

6. The winners will be announced on A Little Boutique Near Home.

7. If events occur that are beyond the Promoter’s control, the entrant accepts no liability shall be attached to the Promoter.

Happy New Year!

Roll out 2012 and bring on 2013. I hope everyone has had a fabulous holiday season!

A lot of people seem to be glad 2012 is over though. I know my Twitter feed was full of messages last night saying ‘thank God this year is over’.

I have had a pretty interesting year though so I disagree. I left a stable full-time job to see where life would take me, and so far the journey has been pretty fabulous. (Apart from getting food poisoning in Thailand. That was a definite low.)


Frankie Diary 2013


So, what are the plans for 2013?

On a professional level, blogging has pushed my interest in fashion to the point where I’m hoping to go to uni to study Textiles and Merchandising. I’d like to learn more about the business side of things.

On the blog, op-shops shall of course remain my first priority. Second-hand will never be second best to me! Reviews, competitions and features shall continue as always.

I’m also hoping to introduce some new features centring on independent designers. I’d like to look at both the local and international designers who are making either beautiful and/or ethical products. There are so many unusual and unique things out there to discover. I already have a few up my sleeve, so stay tuned.

As Kelly mentioned on You Got That At An Op Shop?!, a few key op-shop bloggers may be working on some ‘secret squirrel business‘ behind the scenes. If the secret squirrel business comes to fruition though, it will be very, very exciting!

And finally, I’d like to showcase my own second-hand finds more. This is partly to try and improve my own photography skills, and also to continue trying to get the message out that it is quite possible to look fabulous in second-hand finds.

That’s all for now! Happy New Year everyone, I hope it brings you everything you hope for x


P.S. If you want a really awesome organiser, I LOVE the Frankie 2013 diary. It has lots of space and a great design.

The Salvos in Leopold

Leopold is an unusual spot to visit. It’s a part of the Bellarine Peninsula, and is directly on the way to the beach towns.

If you actually get a chance to explore the town a bit, there is a lot to see. Namely, it has a few op-shops hidden away!


Thrift store sign


I visited the Salvos store recently. The first thing I noticed about this store was that it has a lot of baby things. You don’t often see cots at op-shops, but this store had a couple at the time I visited.

There was also quite a lot of space devoted to toys. The shop was quite spacious in general, but I liked seeing that they’d allowed so much room for a children’s section with a nice display. So many stores just shove toys into a box (one of the reasons why children’s sections don’t get mentioned much on here – also because toys are not on my shopping list at the moment).




I actually changed my usual op-shopping routine at this store and started at the books and clothes before moving onto shoes and bags. The books section made me chuckle with their unusual selections. (I’ve always wanted to learn how to hypnotise chickens… ;))




Unfortunately for me, all of the shoes were too big and none of the bags really took my fancy.

(Have I mentioned the latest item on my op-shop hunt list? I’m on the hunt for a really cool vintage satchel, OR one of the out-there types like the Cambridge satchels.)

But what I did find at this store was another pair of very cool bling earrings. I think I’m like a magpie – I’m attracted to shiny things! Good prices, too – I got two books and my earrings for $7.


my new earrings


I loved the way this store was set up. As mentioned above, it was spacious but it actually felt like it too. It was set up to have a generous selection in every section, and they even had space to sell furniture.

If you’re passing through or staying at Leopold at some point, you can visit this Salvos at:

49 Ash Road
Leopold VIC 3224

Ph: (03) 5250 6566

or visit their website or Facebook page.

How do you feel about… Missoni?

Was anyone else a little big naughty over Christmas? I’m not talking about eating too much here, I’m talking shopping-wise.

I saw a Missoni kaftan in the second-hand luxury boutique Secondo that I just had to have. It was like love at first sight. The weave called to me, the colours sang my name and it fit like it was a second skin. Missoni is a label that is known for it’s iconic knitwear, and when you perceive the detail in the weave up close you can see why.

So the Missoni kaftan kind of became a Christmas present to myself. But can you blame me?










When the Missoni made it’s first public appearance, it got lots of compliments. I think it’s an outfit I’m going to be cherishing for a very long time.

Who wouldn’t be jumping for joy with a beautiful Missoni of their very ownsome?


P.S. Big thanks to my sister Joanne for taking some fantastic photos :)

Charlie’s tips for a top Christmas

Well, it’s nearly Christmas again. Sometimes it seems as if the years speed up as one gets older.

I have had a little help to create a post to help you get through the stresses of Christmas. Guest starring in this post is Charlie – I hope you enjoy his comical expressions as much as I do!

Sometimes, family and responsibilities over the Christmas period can start to weigh on you. You may feel like your world has turned upside down.


is your world upside down with stress?


You may even begin to find it hard to force a smile.


don't try to grin and bear it


If you get to this point, you need a time out. Take five minutes, just for yourself.


Do some stretches.


do some yoga


Read a book or magazine.


relax with the latest fashion mag


take time out to read a magazine


Relax in from of the TV (or on top of it).


Relax in front of the TV


And if the day is really starting to wear you out, take a nap!


take a nap


I hope this made you smile. In the meantime, have a safe and happy holiday season!

Laura x

Vintage Garage in Collingwood

Sometimes you step into a vintage store that literally inspires wonder. Vintage Garage is one such store.

To begin with, the counter is the front of a vintage car. No joke. That’s what greets you when you first enter the store.


the front counter


I believe this store is a little like the Lost and Found stores or the Chapel Street Bazaar, in that it holds a lot of small stalls within the one store. Of course, that only adds to the personality because there is so much variety.

The store is massive. The further you walk in, the more there is to discover. There are a few little side rooms and nooks off to the side (but I’ll let you see them for yourself!).

It doesn’t really matter what you are looking for. There is old vintage designer jewellery, bathing suits, dresses galore, household items (my friend’s head was turned by a set of canisters)… and well, everything really. Even rather unexpected things… (see the pictures!).


cool satchel


vintage bathers


traffic light display


lips phone


multicoloured woven bag


collection of vintage cannisters


I think this would be a great place to shop for signature jewellery. There was a big range to choose from, and as I am very into chunky vintage jewellery I loved it!




Apparently, they also have huge sales occasionally. If you visit the store, ask to join the mailing list and they’ll send you an email when the sales are on.

When the sales aren’t on, it can be a little pricey though. Unfortunately, genuine vintage items that are recognised for what they are tend to be marked up. This is probably not a store where you will find amazing bargains.




vintage sunnies


Collingwood is a great spot to visit for vintage stores. It would take you a whole day to get through all of the op-shops and vintage stores within the vicinity of the Smith and Johnston St intersection.

In other words, this is a fantastic to visit if you have a spare day!

You can read more about the Vintage Garage at their website or on their Facebook page. If you’re heading to that area, be sure to check out what else you can see in Collingwood!

Mixing business with op-shops

I had an interesting chat recently with a transitional manager at an op-shop. (I won’t mention which store for privacy reasons.)

The manager had temporarily taken over the running of the store to try and improve it. He was called in to do the job because he came from a business design background. I thought I’d share some of the issues that he talked about, so that some readers can better understand how many stores are dramatically changing both their appearance and their prices.


Givenchy boots


I have visited this store before, and I noticed some amazing differences as soon as I walked in. The displays were fabulous to the point where I heard one customer say she wanted to buy something just for the sake of it. There was a new designer rack installed (trust me to notice that point, but the manager did admit it was new and that he’d arranged it).

It was quite obvious that the new displays were drawing people into the store.

This is a change I’m seeing across many op-shops. As the shops beside them become more appealing, they need to up their standard to stay in the game as well.

Because at the end of the day, an op-shop is a business too. The difference is that their business is charity, which makes it even more vital in some ways that they attract more customers than your average store.

For most people, second hand clothes are not as appealing as new clothes. (I know, I know – they don’t know what they’re missing out on!) A great display is a form of advertising for an op-shop. It can draw people in or turn them away.


an eye catching piece


tidying up displays


What a lot of people don’t understand is that op-shops often have to meet a budget too. Vicky from I Love to Op Shop wrote a great post about what it costs to run an op-shop from a manager’s point of view. Costs can include anything from rent to electricity.

And that’s before many of them have to meet a monthly budget set by the organisation they represent.

In this new ‘business model’ of op-shops, managers are beginning to evaluate trends and prices. The manager I spoke to today said he was trying to raise all store prices by .50c. By his calculations, that earns roughly another $1000 for the charity they represent (estimating that they sell 2000 items per month).

Combined with the amazing new displays, it seems as if this new manager is on the right track.

There has been a lot of discussion on whether op-shops in Melbourne are getting too pricey. Kelly from They Call Me the Seeker recently wrote a post on the issue, and even Phoebe from Lady Melbourne has addressed it.

I am of mixed opinion on the matter, but I do think that op-shop prices reflect the world around them and the days of $1 bargains are slowly fading. If you want those, you’ll need to head to regional areas.

I don’t begrudge op-shops for marking up. I think they are just doing what they have to to keep up. The same goes for the stores that suddenly look like high street boutiques.

It’s a competitive world out there, and op-shops need to keep up with their competitors.

Winners of the Christmas 2012 competition

Thanks to everyone who entered the competition to win the turquoise necklace and/or neon earrings!


Brighten up your Christmas!


I used this random number generator to select the winners.

The first prize goes to Vicky from I Love to Op Shop, and the runners up were Erica, Alex and Emily. And in a random coincidence, every one liked different coloured earrings so it worked out perfectly! The prizes will be on their way to you shortly.


Stay tuned early next year for another great competition, courtesy of L’Occitane. I have approximately $200 worth of their products to give away!

Again Recycle in Camberwell

Again Recycle is an American vintage store based in Camberwell. It’s rather hard to miss, due to the impressive artwork on a side wall of the store.

The store is interesting because most of it’s products are sourced from the USA. The vibe very much makes me think of ‘Summer of 69‘. When you step inside it’s like stepping back in time.


Again Recycle


Vintage display


To give you an idea of the store’s philosophy, this is what it says on the Again Recycle website:

“Again is no ordinary vintage store.

“Our vision is to provide customers with the best selection of vintage clothing at competitive prices. Sourced from Los Angeles and New York, among other major US cities, we separate the trash from the treasure, selling everything from college tees to cowboy boots, floral dresses to flannel shirts, beaded tops to baseball jackets and plenty of denim.

“Again is founded on a ‘recycling’ philosophy, not only in fashion but also, in sustainability. We strive to deliver vintage treasures whilst benefiting the community and the environment. We support the selling of vintage clothes in a bid to combat the current ‘throw-away’ culture, which sees consumers buying mass-produced garments made in China. In doing so, you conserve natural resources, reduce landfill and save money.”

Again Recycle is a true vintage store. If you are looking for a place to find some unusual old-time pieces, this is the place to go. It’s large and holds a huge variety.

I didn’t recognise a lot of the labels because they were from the US. Of course, there were a few anyone would know – it’s easy to spot a vintage Oroton bag, for example. Or a pair of Converse sneakers, of which there were many!




Change rooms




Another vintage display


It was slightly pricey. For example, the Converse sneakers ranged from about $30-$40. The best bargains were amongst the clothes.

Now, the clothes themselves were beautiful and in excellent condition. There was a range of both mens’ and womens’. Checkered shirts, cropped tees – you name it. The only thing they did not stock was vintage bathing suits (the one thing I was looking for at the time!).

So, if you’re looking for a cool pair of aviators or a vintage polka dot dress, I’d strongly recommend this store.

It’s right near where the Camberwell Market is (which is how I found it), at:

REAR 535 Riversdale Rd Camberwell, VIC 3124
(03) 9813 2860

Trading hours: (may change)
Monday- closed
Tuesday- Saturday 10am – 5pm
Sunday- 9am-2pm

or visit the Again Recycle website.

How do you feel about… culottes?

Beau hates my culottes. I bought them from an op-shop in a state of great excitement, only to be greeted with a look of distaste when I tried them on at home.

Apparently they look ‘too big’. And yet to me, I think they are super-slimming. They also bring back primary school day memories – oh, the freedom that was in the light green and white checkered cotton!

Also, they are practical. You don’t really have to worry about flashing anyone in culottes (unless they are of the short-short variety). But at the same time, you have the freedom of wearing a loose skirt.

To quote a wizard called Archie from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, “I like a healthy breeze ’round my privates, thanks.”

Maybe I am just reliving my childhood days. Maybe I just like to be different. But boy, do I feel slim and comfy!


All of me


Cheesy grin


Body shot


My LV belt




Lower half


In this post I’m wearing my new culottes from the Sacred Heart on Chapel Street ($7), with a second-hand Louis Vuitton belt that was gifted to me (a student from Thailand left it behind at a family friend’s house) and a singlet I bought for a couple of dollars at an op-shop (I can’t actually remember which one!). The earrings I got from an op-shop in Ocean Grove years ago, the bangle was $6 from the Salvos in North Melbourne, the bag is Jaeger and was purchased for $65 recently from the Salvos in Windsor and my Windsor Smith clogs are the only thing that was new (apart from my underwear!) and purchased not long ago in a sale at Myer.